Japan Winter Wildlife Photography Tour & Holiday

Join us for once in a lifetime, 13-day Japanese wildlife photography holidays. Prepare to immerse yourself in the captivating landscapes and diverse wildlife that Japan has to offer. Refining your photography skills under the guidance of our expert photographers.

This carefully crafted tour will take you on an unforgettable journey through some of Japan’s most stunning natural wonders. From Jigokudani Yaen-Koen Wild Monkey Park to the stunning Lake Kussharo, you ‘ll capture breathtaking moments through your lens. Ranging from elusive snow monkeys relaxing in hot springs to majestic, red-crowned cranes spreading their wings in graceful flight.

This tour is designed for seasoned professionals, who wish to experience wildlife in one of the most remarkable places on earth. Our guides will share their expertise, offering valuable insights into wildlife behaviour and the art of nature photography. Ensuring that you return home with a portfolio of memorable images to last a lifetime.

Join us on this extraordinary Japan photo tour and let the enchanting beauty of its wildlife ignite your creative spirit!

Reserve your spot on our small group photography tours and prepare to capture nature in its purest form.


Hokkaido, Japan


13 Days

Skill Level:


Fitness Level:


Tour Outline

Please find below a rough schedule outlining the intended tour schedule. However, keep in mind that this may change due to unexpected situations or bad weather.
  • Day 1

    • You’ll arrive at Haneda Airport's International Terminal in Tokyo.

    • Following our departure from Tokyo, we will journey via the swift 'bullet train' to Nagano city.

    • From there, we’ll drive to Yudanaka, an exquisite locale nestled amidst the serene Japanese Alps.

    • Located 10 minutes away from the trailhead of Jigokudani, we’ll stay in this picturesque haven for the next three nights.

    • By travelling by train, we’ll have the opportunity to partake in an enchanting session with Snow Monkeys come afternoon.
  • Day 2 & Day 3

    • The next two days will be spent entirely in and around the Jigokudani Yaen-Koen Wild Monkey Park.

    • During this season, the landscape is largely covered in a blanket of snow. Providing a stunning backdrop for capturing captivating photographs of the enchanting Snow Monkeys.

    • Remarkably, the monkeys have grown accustomed to human presence, allowing us to approach them closely.

    • Undoubtedly, this wildlife photography spectacle is one of Japan's finest, and we can anticipate capturing an abundance of images!

    • We may also encounter the elusive Japanese Serows, a species of goat-antelope, on the brushy slope directly above the monkeys. Presenting another fascinating subject for our photographs.

    • Located just downstream from the monkey park is a small spa. Known as an onsen, where a fumarole emits a picturesque steam cloud into the narrow valley. Here, we will have lunch, and possibly even sharing the experience with some of the Snow Monkeys.
  • Day 4

    • In the morning, our destination is Haneda airport in Tokyo. Here we will depart for Kushiro airport situated on the northern island of Hokkaido.

    • Upon arrival, a brief journey will lead us to our hotel, where we will be residing for three nights.

    • If the flight schedule permits, we anticipate our initial encounter with Red-crowned Cranes of Hokkaido in the late evening.
  • Day 5 & Day 6

    • Day five and six will be spent in the Kushiro region.

    • Our top priority will be capturing the awe-inspiring Red Crowned Cranes. we will dedicate a significant amount of time to visiting two feeding stations. One is situated in Tsurui, while the other is in Akan.

    • Whilst at Tsurui we will rise early to shoot the Red Crowned Cranes at sunrise.

    • Additionally, we will have the chance to capture close-up shots of the cranes' heads and feet. Including moments when they bugle, emitting steam from their bills.

    • The Akan feeding station, attracting approximately 100 to 200 cranes, offers further fantastic possibilities for crane photography, albeit with subtle differences.

    • Weather permitting, we’ll dedicate at least one early morning to a river bridge where many cranes roost.

    • In the surrounding area, it is possible to find a roosting Ural Owl. If fortunate we will seize the opportunity to capture stunning images of this beautiful creature.
  • Day 7

    • Today, we will embark on a journey towards the North, venturing towards the captivating Lake Kussharo.

    • In this incredibly picturesque frozen lake we’ll find numerous Whooper Swans, undertaking their annual migration from Siberia and Mongolia.

    • Our guesthouse caters to the avian inhabitants by offering bird feeders. Attracting species such as White-backed, Great Spotted, and Japanese Pygmy Woodpeckers, in addition to tits, nuthatches, and Hawfinches. Remarkably, even Raccoon Dogs may grace us with their presence during the evening hours!
  • Day 8

    • Our journey through Eastern Hokkaido continues. Leaving Lake Kussharo in the morning and heading towards the charming port town of Rausu.
    • Nestled at the foot of the Shiretoku peninsula on the northeastern coast, we will be staying here for four nights.
    • We’ll spend one night at a simple minshuku, a traditional Japanese-style guesthouse. This will provide us with the ideal location to capture stunning images of the elusive Blakiston's Fish Owl.
    • The remaining three nights will be spent in a comfortable hotel, where we can relax and unwind in the soothing waters of a heated outdoor ofuro.
    • Along our route, we will have the chance to visit an active volcano. The combination of sulphur vents, fumaroles, and a snowy mountain backdrop will offer us breathtaking opportunities for capturing jaw-dropping images.
  • Day 9 - 11

    • Throughout our stay in Rausu, we will have two primary goals. First, we want to capture the magnificent Steller's Sea Eagles and White-tailed Eagles. Additionally, we aim to photograph the incredible Blakiston's Fish Owl.
    • We’ll rise early with a morning boat trip as we make our way to the pack ice. On this journey, we will have fish treats to attract and interact with our avian friends.
    • We will capture shots ranging from sunrise to action, flight, and extreme close-ups of the eagles. Using the sea ice and snow-covered peaks as a backdrop.
    • If there is no sea ice in the area, the boats will still go out. However, instead of feeding the eagles on the pack ice, they’ll be fed on the harbour wall.
    • We may also shoot impressive Largha Seals resting on the ice, and on rare occasions, Orcas may make an appearance. Additionally, there will be ample chances for close-up photography of Glaucous, Glaucous-winged, and Slaty-backed Gulls, as well as Large-billed Crows.
    • Along the coastline, we are also likely to encounter some amiable ducks. Including the beautiful Harlequin and Long-tailed Ducks, Greater Scaups, Black Scoters, Common Goldeneyes, and Common Mergansers.
    • During our stay in Rausu, we will spend one night at a cozy minshuku located near a serene river. Throughout the night, Blakiston's Fish Owl’s often make multiple appearances, resulting in exhilarating photographic moments!
    • Our group will take a trip to Notsuke Peninsula. Here presents an excellent opportunity to capture captivating images of Red Foxes. It’s highly likely that we’ll encounter at least one very friendly fox.
    • Another noteworthy subject to focus on in Notsuke is the majestic Sika Deer. We may capture shots of male deer showcasing their impressive antlers against the backdrop of the snow-covered peaks of Shiretoku. Additionally, if we are fortunate, we may even be able to photograph the elusive Short-eared Owl in this fulfilling area.
    • During one of our mornings, we will depart early to visit a feeding site for eagles located near Lake Furen.
    Please note weather conditions on the northeast coast of Hokkaido can be quite changeable during winter. Frequent snowfall and poor visibility are quite possible at times. Therefore, we have allocated ample time in the area to account for possible unfavourable weather conditions.
  • Day 12

    • Following our final morning in the Rausu region, we will make our way towards the Nakashibetsu area.
    • It is here where we will conclude our tour with an overnight stay at a truly delightful hotel. This establishment boasts not only an onsen, a traditional Japanese spa bath, but also an astonishingly beautiful Japanese dinner.
    • While in this area, we will again capture the Blakiston's Fish Owl, albeit from a shorter distance of only 5 meters.
    • Expect close encounters with Eurasian Red Squirrels, Eurasian Jays, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Brown-eared Bulbuls, Eurasian Nuthatches, and various tit species such as Coal, Marsh, Willow, and Japanese Tits.
  • Day 13

    • On our last morning, we’ll seize the chance capture the splendid creatures that inhabit the vicinity of our hotel.
    • Afterwards, we will depart our hotel and journey back to Kushiro airport.
    • We make take a detour to bid farewell to the elegant cranes along the way. Once arrived, we will catch an evening flight to Haneda airport.

Additional Information

Japan Winter Wildlife Photography Tour & Holiday

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